Vicki Penwell

Vicki Penwell, LM, CPM, MSM, MA, has provided clinical maternity care for decades in low-resource, high-mortality countries and regularly teaches on midwifery best practice, dividing her time between living in the USA and the Philippines. She is the founder and Executive Director of Mercy In Action, a global NGO sponsoring birth centers in the Philippines, and Mercy In Action College of Midwifery, a MEAC-accredited school in the USA that promotes a global perspective on the provision of maternity care. Through the college, Mercy In Action offers many accredited CEU courses for practicing midwives, as well as offering a post-graduate diploma in midwifery & maternal/child health. Vicki has earned a master’s degree in midwifery and another master’s degree in intercultural studies. She is married to Scott, her husband of 42 years, and together they have raised three “Third Culture Kids” and now have two daughters-in-law and five second-generation TCK grandkids. Among their descendants are three CPMs, one MD, and one in medical school now; they all work for or volunteer with Mercy In Action in some capacity!

PostPartum Care in the Context of a Developing Country

In past articles I wrote in this series, I mentioned that while visiting Thailand years ago, I found that they have a charming expression that translates in English to “same same but different” (vendors in the market will say this to you repeatedly as they show you different products in the same basic grouping).

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Building Strong Foundations for Midwifery Education: The World Needs Midwives, Now More Than Ever!

To equip means to prepare someone sufficiently in all aspects, for a particular situation or task. Everyone who aspires to become a midwife desires to be properly equipped for this task.

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 Read more…. Building Strong Foundations for Midwifery Education: The World Needs Midwives, Now More Than Ever!

Newborn Care in the Context of a Developing Country

In my first and second articles in this series, I mentioned that in Thailand, they have an expression that translates in English to “same same but different.” As is true with pregnancy and labor and delivery, so it is true of caring for the newborn, as well. There are unique aspects to newborn care in a low-resource setting and, while many elements of caring for a newborn baby in the six weeks following birth are universal, the midwife needs to be aware of how best practices can be different according to the setting. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) has created global standards, competencies, and guidelines to ensure that midwives in all countries have effective education and skills (ICM 2018). When working in developing countries where newborn mortality is high in the neonatal period, the midwife should possess advanced skills and be humble about the high-risk population in which she may find herself. Business as usual will not be adequate or even ethical in these situations.

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The Disappearing Second Stage

The author shares her experience after thousands of birth that labor is a continuum rather than being divided into stages. If left undisturbed, women will not even experience a “second stage.”

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Labor and Delivery Care in the Context of a Developing Country

Labor in a developing country can be very different than in a developed country. In this second in her series of article, Vicki Penwell shares the challenges faced by laboring women in the Philippines and other countries.

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 Read more…. Labor and Delivery Care in the Context of a Developing Country

Prenatal Care in the Context of a Developing Country

In Thailand, there is an expression when comparing two things that are similar yet not exact; in English it translates to “same same but different.” So it is with the provision of prenatal care in the context of a developing country. There are unique aspects to maternity care in a low-resource setting and, while some prenatal care elements are universal, the midwife needs to be aware of how best practices can be different according to the setting.

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Microbiome and Midwives: A Look at Culture

International midwife Vicki Penwell discusses the culture of homebirth in America to see what might be done to improve the life-long health of the baby.

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How a Checklist Promotes Human Rights in Childbirth: The International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative

How a Checklist Promotes Human Rights in Childbirth: the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative by Vicki Penwell. Midwife Vicki Penwell shares a simple and practical tool to get better outcomes in childbirth. Read more…. How a Checklist Promotes Human Rights in Childbirth: The International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative

After Action Review: A Guide for Midwifery Students and Preceptors

International midwife Vicki Penwell teaches a structured approach for reflecting on the work of a group and identifying strengths and weaknesses and areas for improvement.

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 Read more…. After Action Review: A Guide for Midwifery Students and Preceptors

After the Disaster: What Comes Next in the Philippines?

Midwife Vicki Penwell shares the experience she and other helpers from Mercy In Action had in their successful attempts to provide midwifery care to those affected by Hurricane Yolanda. Read more…. After the Disaster: What Comes Next in the Philippines?

Prematurity and Kangaroo Care during a Disaster

Even amidst disaster, life still happens and babies are still born. Veteran midwife Vicki Penwell teaches on how to handle premature births in disaster zones.

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